James “Whitey” Bulger denied his involvement in 19 murders as the head of the Winter Hill Gang and pleaded not guilty to federal charges facing him.
Bulger, in soft-spoken replies, answered “not guilty” about a dozen times when the court clerk asked him how he pleaded to the extortion, racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering and gun charges against him during his arraignment this afternoon.
The alleged fugitive mobster is one of the nation’s most notorious criminals and his plea upset family members of his alleged victims.
“I don’t even know how we’re going to get justice,” said Steven Davis, whose sister, Debra, was killed in 1981.
Also in court was retired State Police Colonel Tom Foley who attempted to track down Bulger for years.
He said seeing Bulger in handcuffs in a courtroom gave him “satisfaction.”
Bulger faces up to life in prison on some of the charges. He is due back in court Sept. 14 for a status hearing.
In that time, his lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., said he will have reviewed the discovery items that should be provided by prosecutors.
Prosecutors told the magistrate judge that the trial could take up to four weeks and could include between 30 and 40 witnesses for their case.
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